New bus service to connect Gowanbrae starts soon

By: Chris Smith

From this week, Gowanbrae residents will benefit from a new demand responsive bus service, with travellers simply required to call

From this week, Gowanbrae residents will benefit from a new demand responsive bus service, with travellers simply required to call and book the service at least 15 minutes prior to travel.

Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky says the bus will provide Gowanbrae residents with public transport for the first time, with access to Westfield Shopping centre at Airport West, where they can transfer to the Route 59 tram to the City or the route 477 bus running between Essendon and Broadmeadows.

Christine Campbell, Member for Pascoe Vale, says Gowanbrae is a special case in that its narrow streets are not suited to conventional buses.

"The new on-demand bus is a small, low-floor, step-less entry vehicle which can easily manoeuvre through the area and provides accessible entry for all passengers," Campbell says.

"This innovative service is among the first of its kind in Melbourne and will allow frequent and reliable access to local amenities and transport links for the people of Gowanbrae.

"I am delighted the Brumby Government has listened to and acted on requests by Gowanbrae residents for public transport. The greater the patronage, the greater the services and at a time of rising fuel costs, this should help all family budgets and minimise car costs."

The new Route 490 bus will operate to a set timetable between Airport West and the Gowanbrae shops, where the bus will then divert to pick up passengers from a number of designated bus stops throughout Gowanbrae, according to passenger demand.

Passengers are required to book the bus up to 15 minutes prior to the scheduled trip departure time. Regular travellers will also be able to make a recurring booking for the service, eliminating the need to make a separate booking for each trip.

Kosky says the new service was a great example of how the Brumby Government was working to improve bus services throughout suburban Melbourne.

"As part of the 10-year, $10.5 billion Meeting Our Transport Challenges action plan, we committed $650 million to improving local bus services across the city," she says.

Improvements have already been implemented on 68 bus routes with longer operating hours and more frequent services. Another 58 upgrades will be completed this year and planning is underway for future improvements.

"I’m delighted that we have been able to find such an innovative way to bring public transport to Gowanbrae and I’d like to invite all local residents to take advantage of this fantastic new service."

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